Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bradley Manning

He is the person accused of the leaking of thousands of documents to Wikileaks. He has been kept in solitary confinement at the Marines' base at Quantico, in Virginia. His treatment there has, I believe, been inappropriate. Until recently, he had no sheets, and at night he is forced to undress, and put on some specially designed smock to sleep in. He is kept in his cell for 23 hours a day

I do suspect that Private Manning is guilty of the leaks. He has been charged for certain offenses as a result of this, but he has not been brought to trial.

I hold no brief for the actions of whoever did the leaking, but I think it goes against American ideas of justice to "punish" Manning before he has been brought to trial and, if found guilty, sentenced. Until that time, he should be treated as any other prisoner awaiting trial.

Delay in bringing him to trial is also not the "American way". Surely by now all the evidence needed for his trial has been obtained? It seems that his continued solitary confinement at Quantico is simply a matter of punishment for something of which he has not been found guilty.

Whether his treatment amounts to "torture", as some have alleged, is unclear.

One of the disappointments I have in this matter is the attitude of the President. He tells us that he has been assured that Manning's treatment is "appropriate". I suppose he is standing aside because of possible damage to his re-election prospects, if he were to use his authority to treat Manning in a more humane manner.

Shame on us for continuing this humiliating and vindictive discrimination of a suspect!

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